So far, multiple reliable sources have predicted that Apple will finally go with a high-refresh-rate screen for its upcoming ‘Pro’ iPhones. Yeah, Apple is a couple of years late to the ‘High Hz’ party, but it is definitely assuring to see that an iPhone that vaporizes over a thousand dollars from your wallet at least has a high-refresh-rate screen. But a 120Hz screen also chugs a lot of battery juice. However, Apple has reportedly cracked the battery efficiency code, as the iPhone 13 Pro models are said to consume 15-20% less juice despite packing a 120Hz LTPO panel.
As per a report by DigiTimes (via Macrumors), Apple is going to arm the iPhone 13 Pro and its pricier iPhone 13 Pro Max sibling with a 120Hz LTPO display. Samsung and LG Display are said to be the key suppliers and are currently in the process of converting their low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) production lines into low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) units – a process that will come to completion by June.
“Samsung Display and LG Display, now offering LTPS OLED displays for iPhones, are proceeding with capacity conversion to LTPO ones at their Apple-dedicated 6G OLED lines, with the conversion likely to be completed in the first half of 2021, the sources said, adding that production capacity will drop due to the added oxide step when LTPS is converted to LTPO.”
Now, it goes without saying that a 120Hz display would be more taxing on the battery compared to a regular 60Hz screen. Apple has reportedly figured out a way to solve the battery consumption problem and has actually managed to boost the battery efficiency of the iPhone 13 Pro models by a healthy 15-20 percent. However, it is unclear how much of that efficiency boost has to do with the A15 chip powering the iPhone 13 series.
Going with an LTPO panel also opens the doors for an adaptive refresh rate implementation, which allows the screen refresh rate to vary according to on-screen content to save battery. Take for example the Galaxy S21 Ultra, whose AMOLED panel can change the refresh rate value between 5Hz for tasks like reading and 120Hz to reduce power consumption.